Readings for the Week of August 11
Jesus describes himself as bread. We have to admit that's weird. In John 6:51 Jesus says, "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh." The debate over whether Jesus was being more or less literal on this point has raged for centuries and will continue to. Focusing only on that will cause us to miss two central points.
First, Jesus sustains us. In some way Christ sustains us with himself, his own life, his own body, his own presence just as food sustains us. Second, Jesus' life and death, the "bread" of his life, is not for us only but for the whole world. The meal that we share around the communion table is not for us only but for the "life of the whole world". The bread is for those who do not join us at our communion table, or any table for that matter.
We call it the Lord's Supper, Communion, and Eucharist. That last word is the Greek word for "thanksgiving". It seems too little. It seems not enough. It always will.
Grant to us, Lord, we pray, the spirit to think and do always
those things that are right, that we, who cannot exist without
you, may by you be enabled to live according to your will;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.